Monday, July 20, 2020

How to Conduct a Feasibility Study the Right Way

How to Conduct a Feasibility Study the Right Way All businesses have to critically examine the actions they take, whether the business is just starting out or has been in operation for a while. Establishing the viability of an idea or action can ultimately determine whether a business succeeds or not. The best tool for determining this is by conducting a feasibility study. © Shutterstock.com | Rawpixel.comIn this guide, we will examine what a feasibility study entails and when it should be used. We’ll then outline the five key elements of a feasibility study and provide you with six steps for conducting one within your organization. Lastly, youll see some examples of feasibility studies.WHAT IS A FEASIBILITY STUDY?A feasibility study is a study, which is performed by an organization in order to evaluate whether a specific action makes sense from an economic or operational standpoint. The objective of the study is to test the feasibility of a specific action and to determine and define any issues that would argue against this action.The question a feasibility study essentially tries to answer is: “Should we proceed with the specific action plan?” On top of determining whether the plan is viable, organizations can use a feasibility study for understanding the risks better and preparing for them.It’s important to remember that a feasibility study is not the same as a business plan. A business plan provides a planning function and defines the actions needed to take a business idea into reality, whereas a feasibility study provides an investigation into a specific function and whether it’s viable.While it’s important to conduct both plans before setting up a company, a business plan should only be conducted once the business has been deemed viable by a feasibility study.When should a feasibility study be used?While feasibility studies are typically conducted by business organizations, other organizations can naturally benefit from it as well. Since the study aims to discover whether an action is viable, it can help organizations to avoid costly or operationally exhausting ventures.The study is typically used in situations where an important strategic decision needs to be taken.This can vary and some of the example situations include:Change in business locationPurchase of new equipment or softwareAcquisition of another com panyHiring of additional employeesAs mentioned above, a feasibility study is often at the core of launching a business. It can be the key to launching a successful start-up, as it helps to underline the future pain points and to determine whether the plan is viable in the first place.Overall, a feasibility study is the perfect tool for situations where the impact is likely to be big in terms of operational or economic significance.David E. Gumpert nailed the essential importance of a feasibility study in his book How to Really Create a Successful Business Plan. When discussing the possible failure of a feasibility study (i.e. the negative result), Gumpert wrote, “Although [an unsuccessful feasibility study] may appear to be a failure, it’s not. The failure would have been if you had invested your own and others’ money and then lost it due to barriers you failed to research in advance.”Finally, you can watch the below video to understand the importance of a feasibility study for business success through a simple example: CORE ELEMENTS OF A FEASIBILITY STUDYYou’ll need to study the main elements when conducting a feasibility study. While these are often all required for conducting a study, you might sometimes focus mostly on a single element or a combination of a few of them.#1  Technical feasibilityThe first element deals with technical feasibility of the proposed action plan. If your organization is introducing a new product or a service, the technical feasibility study will determine if it’s a technically viable action.This part of the feasibility study should answer the following questions:What is the proposed product or service?Is the product or service already on sale? If not, how far is it from an existing marketplace and what will the introduction cost?How can you protect the product or service from the competition?What are the strengths of the product or service?What are the main benefits to customers or users?What resources are required for producing or providing it?How capable is the organization to acquire these resources?What are the regulatory standards surrounding the product or service and its use?Remember the above questions can be used when you are introducing a new product or launching a business, but also if you are implementing a new product or service within your organization. For instance, if you are introducing new software, you must understand the strengths of it, as well as the resources required for implementing it.#2  Market feasibilityThe second element focuses on testing the market for the proposed action or idea. It examines issues like whether the product or service can be sold at reasonable prices or if there’s a marketplace for it.Market feasibility should answer the following questions:What market segments are you targeting?Why would people buy the product or service?Who are the potential customers and how many of them are there?What are the buying patterns of these potential customers?How w ill you sell the product or service? Where?Who are your competitors? Including past, current and future competitors.What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?What is your product or service’s competitive edge?The above essentially points out to the importance of conducting market research as part of your feasibility study. Market feasibility is an important part of a feasibility study when the plan of action deals with issues such as business expansion, new product or service launch, product development and starting up a business. #3  Commercial feasibilityCommercial feasibility is an element of the study focused on the probability of commercial success. It’s mainly focused on studying the new business or a new product or service, and whether your organization can create enough profit with it.The questions that require answering as part of the commercial feasibility study include:What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business?What are the potential sales volumes of the product or service?What is the pricing structure you’ll use?What are the sensitivity points for your business in terms of sales?What is the ROI?Furthermore, if you are conducting a feasibility study as part of launching a business, you also need to answer the following questions:How long can your business survive without a sale?How long before you break even with the product or service?How much money is required to start operating?Will your organization require external finance?While the above points are mainly important for new businesses, any organization can benefit from thinking about them when launching a new operation.For example, if you are adding a new product line to your business, you should use the above questions as a guide to understanding the implications to your other operations and the financial viability of the new product.#4 Overall risk assessmentThe fourth element focuses on the major risks the proposed plan can entail. The overall risk assessmen t part of a feasibility study examines the different ways your organization can reduce the risk of embarking on the new action.The overall risk assessment should answer the following questions:What are the major risks associated with the operation?What is the survival outlook for each of the above risks?How sensitive are the profits?What are the best ways to minimize these risks?The aim is to try to cover all the possibilities and create a risk assessment map, which deals with the probability of the risk and the impact it would have on the business. It’s aimed at recognizing the risks that can make or break your business from the smaller, more manageable risks.For instance, consider your business is conducting a feasibility study in order to hire a new employee. One risk might deal with the possibility the hire is an inadequate fit and leaves after six month trial period. But your risk assessment might show that while the risk of this is relatively high, the survivability of your business doesn’t depend on it. For example, the cost of a bad hire could be low due to your recruitment strategy or the position not being essential for operations.This is how you can create your own risk assessment map.[slideshare id=1707548doc=riskmanagementframework-090710200059-phpapp01w=640h=330]In addition, if you are launching a new business, the overall risk assessment should also consider one final question. Answering the question “When can your business be able to support you and itself without extra financing?” is an important part of a feasibility study. Self-sufficiency is crucial for business success, as having to borrow can hinder the long-term survivability of your business.#5 Feasibility of purchasing an existing businessThe final essential element of a feasibility study is not necessarily relevant to every business. Nonetheless, it is an important aspect to keep in mind, as it deals with the impact of acquiring a new business. This is not only relevant to new businesses, as your organization might acquire a new business as part of its growth strategy.The purpose of this final element is to study whether purchasing an existing business is a sound investment to make. It requires your organization to answer questions such as:Why is the current owner selling the business?What is the business’ performance? If it’s poor, what are the reasons behind it?What is the competition like?What is the valuation of the assets included in the sale?What are the advantages and disadvantages of the current business location? Is your organization continuing operations in the same premises or not? Why?STEPS TO CONDUCTING A FEASIBILITY STUDYNow that we’ve examined the different core elements of a feasibility study, we can look at the steps you need to take in order to conduct a feasibility study.Step 1: Conduct preliminary analysisA feasibility study can be a time-consuming process and it doesn’t come without its costs. It’s therefore auspicious to s tart by conducting preliminary analysis. This is essentially a pre-screening of the proposed action and it examines whether a proper feasibility assessment is worth the time and money.For example, before you conduct a feasibility study on the viability of acquiring a business, you want to check quickly the overall attainability of the action. If the acquisition is so risky that it could bankrupt your business, there’s no reason for conducting a proper feasibility study.Preliminary assessment should consist of the following steps:First, you want to outline the planned idea or action. This means looking at what you are looking to achieve and why.Second, you should examine the market space and the commercial viability of the action. You want to get an overall feel of what type of customers are you potentially attracting.Third, you should examine the unique characteristics of the idea and whether they are strength or a weakness. The idea or action might have certain unique characteris tics (i.e. location, price, usability) and these might help your organization.Fourth, you need to determine if there are insurmountable risks to the action. It’s essential to outline any risks that could possibly reduce the viability of the action or idea close to zero.Keep in mind the above is just to get an overall feel of the idea. You don’t need to conduct full market research at this point, but simply understand whether there’s any kind of space for the action within the market.If your preliminary analysis doesn’t find any insurmountable obstacles and the commercial viability is possibly there, you can continue with the proper feasibility study.Step 2: Outlining the project scope and conducting current analysisNext, you should move on to outlining the project scope by defining the area of study for the feasibility study. Do you need to look at all five elements of the study, for example?The scope must be detailed and outline the objectives of the feasibility study clear ly. It’s a good idea to examine the above five elements in terms of your action or idea and create an action plan for each section that applies to the project.It’s essential to study the different parts of your business that might be influenced by the proposed action or idea, even when you aren’t proposing something that impacts the whole business directly (i.e. launching a new product, acquiring a business or starting a business). Actions, such as hiring new personnel to a single department, can sometimes have an impact on sectors that might not immediately seem obvious.The key to outlining the scope is about understanding the different participants and end-users of the proposed idea or action. For instance, if you are moving the business to new premises, you have to understand the impact it’ll have on the workforce (change in commute can an impact on employee morale, etc.) and the customer (will all customers follow your business to a new location, etc.).Finally, you also need to analyze the current situation prior to the implementation of the idea or action. You can do so by describing the weaknesses and strengths of the business. Once you’ve done this, you can study the savings and the operational benefits you are hoping to achieve with the new proposal.Step 3: Comparing your proposal with existing products/servicesYou’ll also need to research the current competitive landscape in order to understand whether the proposed idea or action is viable. Whether you are implementing a new software or equipment or launching your own new product, you need to compare the proposed product or service with other similar items on the market.This might mean you need to compare the feasibility of your chosen software (for example, accounting platform) with other products on the market. What are the benefits of your proposed choice and what are the weaknesses? Are the risks associated with your chosen software smaller or bigger than those of competitive products? The same analysis applies when launching a new product. Part of your feasibility study must then focus on understanding what the customers are looking for and whether your proposed idea answers these needs. You should also compare the proposed product with the existing products or services and focus on the advantages, as well as disadvantages, you might have.Learn more about Porters five forces in this video. Step 4: Examining the market conditionsYou also need to examine the market conditions. There are four specific points when it comes to the analyzing market in terms of feasibility.Defining the target market.Studying the buying habits of the target market.Understanding the sale and market share outlook of the proposal.Outlining the product awareness required for the use of your product or service.The main goal of this part of the feasibility study is to understand the revenue projection for implementing the proposed idea or action. You want to have a realistic understanding of t he kind of sale numbers you can expect and the scope of the promotional activities you are required to undertake.For example, in terms of product or service awareness, you must be able to determine the type of marketing required for potential customers to understand and be able to use the item.Step 5: Understanding the financial costsOne of the most important steps for concluding a feasibility study involves calculating the financial costs related to the proposal. No matter what type of idea or action your organization is considering, the financial cost of it can be the major point in determining its viability.The first rule of any successful business is the need to have income or it goes bust. Therefore, any action your organization takes has to examine the impact it’ll have on the income and profit of the business.The financial costs associated with your proposed idea or action will naturally depend on the proposal. But you have to consider the following points in all instances: The resources required to implement the idea or action.The source for these resources: internal or external financing.The realistic benefits of the idea or action, whether it’s sales figures, boost in productivity, or a cut in operational costs.The break-even schedule for the proposal. This refers to the time it takes to a point when the profits from the idea or action equal the costs associated with it.The financial risks associated with the idea or action. This can refer to risky market conditions, the probability of requiring more resources and so on.The financial cost of failure. You also need to calculate the financial cost of the worst-case scenario. This can determine whether your business has the means of embarking on this new venture or not.The likelihood of having to use estimates in the above calculations is relatively high. It’s important to conduct proper research and to be as realistic with your figures as possible. After all, positive surprises (for example, excee ding sales figures) are not difficult to manage, unlike overly positive calculations that turn out wrong.Step 6: Reviewing and analysing dataFinally, you need to review your feasibility study carefully and examine the findings with time. A good rule of thumb is to simply take a step back and reflect on the research before jumping into conclusions.After your study, look around and consider the following questions:Are there any risks you weren’t aware of previously?Have the market conditions changed?Has the competition changed?Is your business situation still the same, in terms of operations and economic situation?If the conditions have changed, you can review these parts of the feasibility study. Once you’ve reviewed your results, you can go ahead with the final decision. The feasibility study should provide you the answer of either moving ahead with the proposed idea or action, or scrapping the idea and looking for something different.EXAMPLES OF FEASIBILITY STUDIESUse the follo wing examples as inspirations for your own feasibility study.Feasibility study for setting up a bakery.[slideshare id=28843825doc=feasibilitystudy-131203075213-phpapp02type=dw=640h=330]Feasibility study for setting up a water refilling station.[slideshare id=40064756doc=alphaedit-141009073249-conversion-gate02type=dw=640h=330]Feasibility study for setting up a poultry business.[slideshare id=41782939doc=feasibilitystudyaboutchicken-141119201619-conversion-gate02type=dw=640h=330]

Thursday, May 21, 2020

50 Important Facts You Should Know About Teachers

For the most part, teachers are undervalued and underappreciated. This is especially sad considering the tremendous impact that teachers have on a daily basis. Teachers are some of the most influential people in the world, yet the profession is continuously mocked and put down instead of being revered and respected. A large majority of people have misconceptions about teachers and do not truly understand what it takes to be an effective educator. The Silent Majority As in any profession, there are teachers who are great and those who are bad. When adults look back on their years in school, they often remember the great teachers and the bad teachers. However, those two groups only combine to represent an estimated 5% of all teachers. Based on this estimate, 95% of teachers fall somewhere in between those two groups. This 95% may not be memorable, but they are the teachers who show up every day, do their jobs and receive little recognition or praise. Misunderstood Profession The teaching profession is often misunderstood. The majority of non-educators do not have any idea what it takes to teach effectively. They do not understand the daily challenges that teachers across the country must overcome to maximize the education their students receive. Misconceptions will likely continue to fuel perceptions about the teaching profession until the general public understands the true facts about teachers. What You May Not Know About Teachers The following statements are generalized. Though each statement may not be true for every teacher, they are indicative of the thoughts, feelings, and work habits of the majority of teachers. Teachers are passionate people who enjoy making a difference.Teachers do not become teachers because they are not smart enough to do anything else. Instead, they become teachers because they want to make a difference in shaping young peoples lives.Teachers do not just work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with summers off. Most arrive early, stay late and take papers home to grade. Summers are spent preparing for the next year and at professional development opportunities.Teachers get frustrated with students who have tremendous potential but do not want to put in the hard work necessary to maximize that potential.Teachers love students who come to class every day with a good attitude and genuinely want to learn.Teachers enjoy collaboration, bouncing ideas and best practices off of each other, and supporting each other.Teachers respect parents who value education, understand where their child is academically and support what the teacher does.Teachers are real people. They have lives outside of school. They have terrible days and good days. They make mistakes.Teachers want a principal and administration that support what they are doing, provide suggestions for improvement and value their contributions to their school.Teachers are creative and original. No two teachers do things exactly alike. Even when they use another teacher’s ideas, they often put their own spin on them.Teachers are continuously evolving. They are always searching for better ways to reach their students.Teachers do have favorites. They may not come out and say it, but there are those students, for whatever reason, with whom they have a natural connection.Teachers become irritated with parents who do not understand that education should be a partnership between themselves and their child’s teachers.Teachers are control freaks. They hate it when things do not go according to plan.Teachers understand that individual students and individual classes are different and tailor their lessons to mee t those individual needs.Teachers do not always get along with each other. They may have personality conflicts or disagreements that fuel a mutual dislike, just as in any profession.Teachers appreciate being appreciated. They love it when students or parents do something unexpected to show their appreciation.Teachers generally do not like standardized testing. They believe it creates added unnecessary pressures on them and their students.Teachers do not become teachers because of the paycheck; they understand that they are usually going to be underpaid for what they do.Teachers dislike it when the media focuses on the minority of teachers who make mistakes, instead of on the majority who consistently show up and do their jobs on a daily basis.Teachers love it when they run into former students who tell them how much they appreciated what they did for them.Teachers hate the political aspects of education.Teachers enjoy being asked for input on key decisions that the administration wi ll be making. It gives them ownership in the process.Teachers are not always excited about what they are teaching. There is usually some required content that they do not enjoy teaching.Teachers genuinely want the best for all of their students: They never want to see a child fail.Teachers hate to grade papers. It is a necessary part of the job, but it is also extremely monotonous and time-consuming.Teachers are consistently searching for better ways to reach their students. They are never happy with the status quo.Teachers often spend their own money on the things they need to run their classroom.Teachers want to inspire others around them, beginning with their students but also including parents, other teachers and their administration.Teachers work in an endless cycle. They work hard to get each student from point A to point B and then start over the next year.Teachers understand that classroom management is a part of their job, but it is often one of their least favorite things to handle.Teachers understand that students deal with different, sometimes challenging, situations at home and often go above and beyond to help a student cope with those situations.Teachers love engaging in meaningful professional development and despise time-consuming, sometimes pointless professional development.Teachers want to be role models for all of their students.Teachers want every child to be successful. They do not enjoy failing a student or making a retention decision.Teachers enjoy their time off. It gives them time to reflect and refresh and to make changes they believe will benefit their students.Teachers feel like there is never enough time in a day. There is always more that they feel they need to do.Teachers would love to see classroom sizes capped at 15 to 20 students.Teachers want to maintain an open line of communication between themselves and their students parents throughout the year.Teachers understand the importance of school finance and the role it plays i n education but wish that money was never an issue.Teachers want to know that their principal has their back when a parent or student makes unsupported accusations.Teachers dislike disruptions but are generally flexible and accommodating when they occur.Teachers are more likely to accept and use new technologies if they are properly trained on how to use them.Teachers become frustrated with the relatively few educators who lack professionalism and are not in the field for the right reasons.Teachers dislike it when a parent undermines their authority by denigrating them in front of their children at home.Teachers are compassionate and sympathetic when a student has a tragic experience.Teachers want to see former students be productive, successful citizens later in life.Teachers invest more time in struggling students than any other group and are thrilled by the â€Å"light bulb† moment when a student finally starts to get it.Teachers are often scapegoats for a student’s failure  when in reality it is a combination of factors outside the teacher’s control that led to failure.Teachers often worry about many of their students outside of school hours, realizing that they do not always have the best home life.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Gilgamesh, Persepolis and Hamlet Exam Paper - 784 Words

EXAM JOURNAL: MIDTERM QUESTIONS The following are the pool from which the three (3) questions on your Midterm Exam will be culled. As explained in the syllabus you are required to keep exam journals for the Gilgamesh, Persepolis and Hamlet readings, based on the separate questions listed on Blackboard for each text. You may use your Exam Journals together with your completed Freud Vocabulary when you take the Midterm Exam 1. Both Ophelia and Marjane experience bouts of deep depression. In what ways are the conditions that contribute to their respective depressions similar and how do they differ? What, other than the difference in their temperaments, might account for each responded to her sorrows? What events led to each young woman’s†¦show more content†¦9. Freud claims that the Oedipal\Electra dynamic plays a significant role in human development. How might understanding this dynamic help us interpret Hamlet’s actions? Ophelia’s actions? How might Hamlet’s unresolved issues with Gertrude, King Hamlet and Claudius explain his actions? How might Ophelia’s lack of a mother figure and relation to Polonius explain hers? 10. Based on the typology of Joseph Campbell, Lynne Milurn describes a typology of the Hero’s Journey. A. Apply her stages to the journey of: i. Gilgamesh Enkidu’s from the poem’s beginning thru their journey to the Cedar Forest ii. Gilgamesh’s search for immortality iii. Hamlet B. In what ways do the aspects of Marjane’s journeys correspond and how do they deviate from Milum’s typology? Indicate those elements and characters of the Hero’s Journey present in Persepolis In what ways might they not follow the progression of stages that Milum details C. Can these same stages might be applied to the psycho-analytic (From the time one realizes the need to go to a therapist til one is cured) and \or psycho-sexual developmental journey (from birth to adulthood) as described by

Development and Reward System Free Essays

Organizations today realize that employees are part of their competitive advantages. Along with effective business strategies and sufficient capital, investments for developing highly skilled human resources have been part of most companies’ road towards success. In order to obtain this unique competitive advantage, organizational management must be able to give sufficient motivation to their employees (Creech, 1995). We will write a custom essay sample on Development and Reward System or any similar topic only for you Order Now One of the considered approaches of management in motivating their employees is through reward system. Primarily, the goal of this paper is to provide an analysis of the aims of organisation in setting reward system. In addition, this will also provide discussions of some of the trends in reward practice and the emerging laws that affect employee rewards. Aims of Organisation for Setting Reward System In Human Resource Management, the employee reward policy is intended to align employees with organizational strategy by providing incentives for employees to act in the firm’s interest and perform well over time. Expectancy theory carries a clear message that employees must feel confident that their effort will affect the rewards they receive. Perceptions of equity are therefore crucial in an employee’s decision to remain and produce valuable work. Equity is a multidimensional construct, embracing external equity (the degree to which a firm pays employees the rate they would find in the external labour market), internal equity (the degree to which a firm differentiates pay between employees on the basis of performance in similar jobs), and individual equity (the degree to which employees are rewarded proportionately to their individual performance) (Dean and Snell, 1993). Because of the changing demands of performance on employees in high- velocity companies, perceptions of equity in its three forms may become confused, as job roles and job interdependence become more varied and flexible. Since employees would expect that as their job changes, so will their rewards, designing reward systems in high-velocity environments presents a major challenge to organizations. In high-velocity environments, a premium is placed on individuals who are able to operate in ambiguous circumstances and who are able to take advantage of loose job descriptions provided by their employers. Organizations in high-velocity environments are willing to pay proportionally higher salaries to individuals who have such skills. We would expect, therefore, that emphasis on individually equitable rewards as a means of recruiting and retaining highly capable employees would be required (Gomez-Mejia and Welbourne 1990; Snell and Dean 1992). Employee Rewards Policy amended by the Human Resource Management can be classified under three broad headings: performance-contingent rewards, which explicitly reward through performance outputs; job-contingent rewards, where pay is contingent on job classification; and person-contingent rewards, in which pay is dependent on the competencies a person has (Dean Snell, 1993). Because both output orientation and job   classification may be difficult to measure accurately in high-velocity conditions, the prospect of person-contingent rewards, which may encourage the values of learning, flexibility, and creativity, would seem to be best suited to fast-changing conditions. In addition, Employee Reward Policy can be one of the greatest foundations of control available to a company in its quest to increase organizational performance and effectiveness, yet remain one of the most underutilized and potentially complex tools for driving organizational performance. The importance and complexity of linking reward strategies to business goals in a systematic manner has been a recurrent argument in the study in this field, as has the importance and difficulty of linking rewards to the longer-term view (Hambrick Snow, 1989). In describing the strongest level of linkage the emphasis has been placed on Lawler’s (1990) description of reward processes which are capable of reinforcing the behaviours crucial to business strategy like long-term versus short-term, customer focus versus financial results. Statement Evaluation People do work for money, but they work even more for meaning in their lives. In fact they work to have fun. This statement can be evaluated using the physiological needs of people. Human beings have needs which can be classified as physiological, safety and security, social, esteem and status, and self-actualization. This means that although employees work because they want to ear incomes, there are still needs that should be fulfilled to ensure their contentment and happiness in what they are doing.   If any of the needs is unmet, or unsatisfied a person, the individual can be motivated if provided with an opportunity to satisfy the unmet need or needs. The most motivating opportunities are the most valued. The most valued opportunities are those designed to provide satisfaction of the most intense unmet needs. What needs are most intense varies from individual to individual. One person’s most dominant need may be the need to be happy (Romzek, 1989). In order to motivate and encourage the workers and employees to render their performances and to help them enjoy more of what they are doing, the employers should are giving recognition to those employees whose works is exemplary or that employee who has contributes to outstanding achievements and accomplishments of the mission and objectives of an organization as a whole.   Rewards and recognition go a long way to keeping employees motivated, satisfied, and committed. Management should recognize employees for both their progress toward and achievement of desired performance goals. It should show appreciation for small accomplishment as well as big ones. The recognition must be ongoing to reinforce employees’ need to feel that they’re doing a good job.   Moreover, the best forms of recognition typically have little or no cost (Nelson, 1998). The statement just justifies the saying that people become more devoted to work when they feel that their environment likes them and appreciate the things they are doing. According to Skinner (1953), the reinforcement theory suggests the behaviors of the employees directly impact the outcome of their work or their performance. Thus, an employee with a positive behavior will bring about positive outcomes, whereas those with negative behaviors will lead to negative results. Thus, the positive behaviors of the employees should then be reinforced by their managers so as to generate more positive outcomes. Trends in Reward Practice Being able to recognise the needs for highly motivated individuals, human resource management has been able to develop different ways in rewarding their employees. The trends in reward practice include the broadbanding and performance-related pay and competency based pay or skill-based pay. This paper will focus on the broadbanding and performance-related pay. Broadbanding is a manner of reducing the number of narrow grades in a certain pay structure into a smaller number of broader bands. This reward practice is based on the view that narrow ranges cannot reward employees who have reached their range maximum but who are still performing effective. The main goal of this reward practice is to provide greater flexibility to reward the acquisition of wider skills as well as competencies without need to promote the employees in each case or situation (Payment Practices, 2008). On the other hand, the performance-related pay is a common term for various approaches to warding or rewarding discretionary payments to employees on the basis of their contribution to the company. Among this common approach include the pay awards for successful meeting work objectives or for showing work-related competences or the integration of the two.   it can be said that each of this reward practice can be helpful for motivating and retaining skilful employees (DeWitt Hamel, 2002). For rewards to be valued, the human resource management must see to it that the Employee Reward Policy includes the proper scheduling on when would be the most accurate time to give the rewards. Generally rewards received by an individual soon after accomplishment of a goal, or soon after attainment of a given targeted performance level, are the most valued rewards and the rewards that serve best to install a desire for further achievement or continued good performance, when the reward is tied to performance in time that reward is closely associated with the performance. It becomes an extension of the performance. It has real meaning because one can vividly see that it was received for performance. Laws that Affects Employee Rewards If the employers are thinking of giving employees special rewards as incentives for having good attendance records, there are some legal and laws which prohibits them to do so.   For instance, the royal mail introduced a reward system for staff which did not take time off sick. Under this system, employees with full attendance records will be included into a prize draw to win Ford Focus cars or holiday packages. In the staff incentive, this system can be perceived as a workable reward to let the employees minimize or totally avoid their absences. However, this kind of system has some serious ramifications from certain employment law. This can be attributed to the employment discrimination law (Coopers, 2005). Herein, the management of Royal mail can be given discrimination charges for disability or age. The success of these claims depends on the specific situation of employees and their needs. This discrimination of age or disability may happen if, for instance, an employee had time off associated to the age and disability and this was not taken into consideration by the management under the reward system. Herein, there is an existing law that says that the failure of the management to set-aside such employee’s absence due to age or disability related reasons can be considered as less favourable treatment.   Hence, this would hinder the company to provide reward for those individual who have no absences for this would not be fair for other employees. In this regard, if the company would like to continue the reward system, they must have some list of exceptions in the reward system. In this regard, it is safer for employees to give bonuses and rewards based on the performance and not by the number of absences. Conclusion Regardless of the targeted employees, the organization today is attempting to become employers of choice.   In order to become one, the management of the organization shall create an Employee reward system where potential job candidates feel that it will be an accomplishment to earn a job with the organization, and that once they have a job, the individual’s performance will be rewarded. Reference Creech, R. (1995). Employee Motivation. Management Quarterly, 36(2), 33+. DeWitt, G. and Hamel, G. (2002). alternative Compensation Plan. Legislative Finance Committee. Online available at http://leg.mt.gov/content/publications/fiscal/interim/financecmty_june2002/broadband_report.pdf Retrieve April 21, 2008. Dean, J.W.; Snell, S.A. (1993). â€Å"‘Integrated Manufacturing and Job Design:The Moderating Effect of Organizational Inertia. Gomez-Mejia, L.R.; Welbourne, T.M. (1990). â€Å"‘The Role of Compensation in The Human Resource Management Strategies of High Technology Firms'†, in M. A. Von Glinow and S. A. Mohrman (eds.), Managing Complexity in High Technology Organizations. New York: Oxford University Press. Hambrick, D.C.; Snow, C.C. (1989). â€Å"‘Strategic Reward Systems'†, in C. C. Snow (ed.), Strategy, Organizational Design and Human Resource Management. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press. Lawler, E.E. (1990). Strategic Pay. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Payment Practices (2008. Online available http://pmf.haven gateway.org/remuneration_and_reward/pay_practices_in_the_uk. retrieve April 21, 2008. Romzek, B.S. (1989). Personal consequences of employee commitment. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 649-661 Nelson, B. (1998). The Care of the Un-Downsized. Public Management, Vol. 80, April 1998. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and Human Behavior. New York: Free Press. Snell, S.A. and Dean, J.W. (1992). â€Å"‘Integrated Manufacturing and Human Resource Management: A Human Capital Perspective'†, Academy of   Ã‚  Ã‚   Management Journal, 35: 467-504. Coopers, RT (2005). Employment Law: Attendance Rewards – Legal Ramifications. Online available http://www.uedawn.com/article.cfm/id/57087. Retrieve April 21, 2008. How to cite Development and Reward System, Papers

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Regulating the Financial System an Example of the Topic Government and Law Essays by

Regulating the Financial System Enron was created 1985 as a merger between Huston Natural Gas and InterWorth (BBC News, 2001). It was a company first credited with supposedly trading energy as a commodity like oil and memory chips. In August 14, 2001, Fortune magazine counted Enron as one of the top 10 stocks poised to grow for the next decade. According to BBC News, the company grew from naught to billions of dollars in just 15 years, a fact celebrated with numerous awards and approbation. At the end of 2000, Enrons stock was trading at about $78, but by late November of the following year, the accounting scandal was unfolding and the stock was bid down to a mere $4.01 (Ackman, 2001). Need essay sample on "Regulating the Financial System" topic? We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you Proceed Although many attribute the fall of Enron to have begun with investors pulling out money from company shares, the first suspicion was cast in the summer of 2000. According to Parry (2006), an employee of Southern California Edison wrote a memo to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission noting that certain energy industry players, including Enron, were manipulating the distribution grid to cut off supply and artificially run energy prices up. California was in turmoil as rolling blackouts plagued the deregulated state. Washington turned a deaf ear and refused to alleviate an ailing market that saw energy prices increase 800 percent. The Bush administration defended its position by stating that price caps do nothing to the present levels of supply and demand, and would simply dampen investor interest. A price cap was eventually implemented but Enron had already managed to accumulate hundreds of millions in excess profit. In that same summer, Enron unveiled a natural gas power plant in Dabhol, India. The power plant, however, presumably with a take or pay agreement with the Indian government, produced and sold electricity at a price many times over the norm. Enron demanded of the Indian government a $250 million payment for the electricity or to purchase Enrons share in the plant amounting to $2.3 billion (Parry, 2006). When the Indian government refused payment, the Bush administration stepped in, pressuring India to make the payment through a series of meetings, negations and, finally, an official warning. In August 15, 2001, Sherron Watkins, an Enron vice president, started reaching for the whistle, as she noted that Raptor, a subsidiary intended to hide losses, owed Enron about $700 million and had could not quite trace out the money (CNN, 2002). She warned other executives and attempted to clarify the accounting anomalies apparently racking the company, but could not secure a proper answer. By December of that year, Wallstreet was caught up bailing out; making the companys stock worth virtually nothing, and forcing Enron to file for bankruptcy. Coincident to the years leading to Enrons Chapter 11, executive compensation was increasing at an exponential rate (Schifferes, 2003). In 1998, the total compensation package for Enrons top 200 executives totaled only $193 million. In 1999 and 2000, the total compensation package made substantial increases to $401 million and $1.4 billion, respectively. According to Schifferes, a large chunk of the compensation package was in the form of stock options, wherein the beneficiary has the right to purchase the companys stock at a fixed price. This provided incentive for the company to boost stock prices. The companys executives methods included artificially jacking energy prices in California and pursuing over priced projects such as the Dabhol power plant, which respectively led to inflated revenue and asset figures. At the same time, subsidiaries such as Raptor were used to hide loss generating activities. The combined effects were inflated earnings reports, and fat payoffs to executive s through exercised stock options. The collapse of Enron brought about $60 billion in losses for the investing public (Thomas, 2002). The company also had more than 20,000 employees that lost their jobs, not to mention numerous pensioners, with substantially all of their working lives already spent, lost their only means of support. With the fall of Enron also came the fall of one of the largest accounting firms in the US Arthur Andersen. The accounting firm served as auditor and consultant for the multi-billion dollar company and is largely held responsible for concealing Enrons nefarious accounting practices. According to Cathy Thomas (2002), about a third of Andersens 2,300 clients quickly fled and turned to other firms for auditing services. The job loss was also apparent in the accounting firm as it sold portions of its business and reduced workforce numbers from 26,000 in the US to a mere 5,000.In the wake of Enrons fall, the US capital markets turned cautious and indecisive. Pellegrini (2002) dubbed it the Enr on Effect. His first case and point came on January 24, 2002 when Alan Greenspan had encouraging words that the worst is over, and strong performances from Nokia and Siebel put several market indexes much higher up during the morning session but cut any gain in half by the afternoon. He further reports that the first trading week of 2002, the Dow plunged some 20 percent as the Justice Department opened criminal investigations for the Enron Scandal. One could argue that the timid stance of the Bush administration in placing a price cap on Californias energy price, and the administrations aggressive stance with respect to the Dabhol project can be viewed as factors enabling Enron to pursue overstated earnings. However, the issue is muddled by viewing the administrations stance as advancing capitalism and advocating nationalistic interests. What is clear is that legislation is needed to bridge the gap between the investing publics information requirements and public companies that they entrust with hard earned money. The government quickly moved to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as a means of curbing unethical accounting practices. A special feature in this piece of legislation is the inclusion of Section 401. Under this section, corporations subject to the act are required to report off-balance sheet transactions that can materially affect the companys financial condition. These off-balance sheet transactions include guarantee contracts (e.g. take-or-pay), interests in assets transferred to subsidiaries, obligations brought about by derivative instruments such as forward agreements, and any material interest in unconsolidated subsidiaries and special purpose vehicles (SEC, 2003). Aside from additional reportorial requirements for subject companies, the act was also meant to have some teeth. Section 1102 places a stiff penalty for tampering with records or serving as an impediment to investigations. The Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 was further amended thru Section 1106 to have steeper criminal liabilities. Some believe that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has done its share to curb corrupt accounting practices. There have been major restatements over the years and companies have been more transparent as a result of the Act. However, Siegel, a member of the Center for Financial Research and Analysis, believes that companies are now focusing on non-accounting metrics (Bloomberg, 2005). While earnings can be manipulated, analysts find that cash flows and other non-accounting metrics can be less subject to management control. The trouble is, some companies can throw these non-accounting metrics toward analysts to justify or mask poor results. The question therefore remains as to whether passing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has been effective as a safeguard for investors as corporate behavior remains the same. References Ackman, D. (2001, November 27). Enron in free fall. Forbes. BBC News (2001, November 28). Rise and fall of an energy giant. BBC News. CNN Student News (2002, February 14). Enrons Watkins warned Lay. CNN. Parry, R. (2006, May 26). Bushs Enron lies. ConsortiumNews.com. Pellegrini, F (2002, January 24). The Enron effect. Time.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Free Essays on Business Report

Dear Sir, Review of current canteen situation and proposal for upgrading. Raffles Polytechnic School of Business houses 668 students and 77 staff. Canteen 1, with a capacity of 200, serves this population. Currently there have been numerous complaints with regards to Canteen 1. Hence the objective of this report is to address the various complaints and hence made the necessary upgrading. A survey had been done and below is the summary of my findings with regards to the issue. 1.) Major complaint: the canteen is unbelievably crowded; I have to spend a long time queuing for my food and then it takes me more time to find seat. How frequently do you have lunch at canteen 1? Fig 1 What time do you normally have lunch? Fig 2 1.1) From the findings more than 50% of students and staffs eat at least 3 times a week. (Refer to fig 1) 1.2) From fig 2, 42% of the students and 70% of staff are using the canteen at 1pm. That would be a rough 340 estimate if we were to take a direct proportional estimate from the sample size, exceeding the capacity of Canteen 1. How would you rate Canteen 1 in terms of seating capacity? Fig 3 1.3) The response of Fig 3 shown that about 68% of the population surveyed feel that canteen 1 seating capacity is poor. 1.4) 98% of the surveyed population feels that there is a need for to extend the canteen. 2.) Major problem: Something must be done about the standard the standard of hygiene in the canteen; it’s not clean. 2.1) I found that currently tables have been cleaned and cleared by team of 5 workers with each worker responsible for a specific section of the canteen. During peak hours, the canteen hosts up to 300 over people (refer to fig 1 and 2), which meant each worker would have to clear the tables for 60 people. How would you rate the hygiene standard in the canteen? Fig 4 2.2) From figure 4, 79% feels that the hygiene of the canteen is on the better side of the scale. ... Free Essays on Business Report Free Essays on Business Report Dear Sir, Review of current canteen situation and proposal for upgrading. Raffles Polytechnic School of Business houses 668 students and 77 staff. Canteen 1, with a capacity of 200, serves this population. Currently there have been numerous complaints with regards to Canteen 1. Hence the objective of this report is to address the various complaints and hence made the necessary upgrading. A survey had been done and below is the summary of my findings with regards to the issue. 1.) Major complaint: the canteen is unbelievably crowded; I have to spend a long time queuing for my food and then it takes me more time to find seat. How frequently do you have lunch at canteen 1? Fig 1 What time do you normally have lunch? Fig 2 1.1) From the findings more than 50% of students and staffs eat at least 3 times a week. (Refer to fig 1) 1.2) From fig 2, 42% of the students and 70% of staff are using the canteen at 1pm. That would be a rough 340 estimate if we were to take a direct proportional estimate from the sample size, exceeding the capacity of Canteen 1. How would you rate Canteen 1 in terms of seating capacity? Fig 3 1.3) The response of Fig 3 shown that about 68% of the population surveyed feel that canteen 1 seating capacity is poor. 1.4) 98% of the surveyed population feels that there is a need for to extend the canteen. 2.) Major problem: Something must be done about the standard the standard of hygiene in the canteen; it’s not clean. 2.1) I found that currently tables have been cleaned and cleared by team of 5 workers with each worker responsible for a specific section of the canteen. During peak hours, the canteen hosts up to 300 over people (refer to fig 1 and 2), which meant each worker would have to clear the tables for 60 people. How would you rate the hygiene standard in the canteen? Fig 4 2.2) From figure 4, 79% feels that the hygiene of the canteen is on the better side of the scale. ...

Monday, March 2, 2020

Examples of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Sociology

Examples of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Sociology A self-fulfilling prophecy is a sociological term used to describe what happens when a false belief influences peoples behavior in such a way that it ultimately shapes reality. This concept has appeared in many cultures for centuries, but American sociologist Robert K. Merton coined the term and developed it for use in sociology. Today, the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy is commonly used by sociologists as an analytic lens through which to study student performance, deviant or criminal behavior, and the impact of racial stereotypes on targeted groups. Robert K. Mertons Self-Fulfilling Prophecy In 1948, Merton used the term self-fulfilling prophecy in an article. He framed his discussion of this concept with symbolic interaction theory, which states that, through interaction, people bring about a shared definition of the situation in which they find themselves. He argued  that self-fulfilling prophecies begin as false definitions of situations, but that behavior based on the ideas attached to this false understanding recreates the situation in such a way that the original false definition becomes true. Mertons description of the self-fulfilling prophecy is rooted in the Thomas theorem, formulated by sociologists W. I. Thomas and D. S. Thomas. This theorem states that if people define situations as real, they are then real in their consequences. Both Mertons definition of self-fulfilling prophecy and the Thomas theorem reflect the fact that beliefs act as social forces. They have, even when false, the power to shape our behavior in very real ways. Symbolic interaction theory explains this by highlighting that people act in situations largely based on how they read those situations, and what they believe the situations mean to them or to the others participating in them. What we believe to be true about a situation then shapes our behavior and how we interact with the others present. In The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology, sociologist Michael Briggs provides an easy three-step way to understand how self-fulfilling prophecies become true. X believes that y is p.X, therefore, does p.Because of 2, y becomes p. Examples of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies in Sociology A number of sociologists have documented the effects of self-fulfilling prophecies in education. This occurs primarily as a result of teacher expectation. The two classic examples are of high and low expectations. When a teacher has high expectations for a student and communicates those expectations to the student through his behavior and words, the student then typically does better in school than they would otherwise. Conversely, when a teacher has low expectations for a student and communicates this to the student, the student will perform more poorly in school than she otherwise would. Taking Mertons view, one can see that, in either case, the teachers expectations for the students are creating a certain definition of the situation that rings true for both the student and the teacher. That definition of the situation then impacts the students behavior, making the teachers expectations real in the behavior of the student. In some cases, a self-fulfilling prophecy is positive, but, in many, the effect is negative. Sociologists have documented that race, gender, and class biases frequently influence the level of expectations that teachers have for students. Teachers  often expect black and Latino students to perform worse than white and Asian students. They may also expect girls to perform worse than boys in certain subjects like science and math, and low-income students to perform worse than middle- and upper-income students. In this way, race, class, and gender biases, which are rooted in stereotypes, can act as self-fulfilling prophecies and actually create poor performance among the groups targeted with low expectations. This ultimately results in these groups performing poorly in school. Similarly, sociologists have documented how labeling kids delinquents or criminals leads to delinquent and criminal behavior. This particular self-fulfilling prophecy has become so common across the U.S. that sociologists have given it a name: the school-to-prison pipeline. It is a phenomenon that is also rooted in racial stereotypes, primarily ones of black and Latino boys, but documentation suggests that it affects black girls as well. Examples of self-fulfilling prophecies show how powerful our beliefs are. Good or bad, these expectations can alter what societies look like. Updated by Nicki Lisa Cole, Ph.D.